Kamala Harris visits Honduras for migration talks with the new president

Vice President Kamala Harris will lead a US delegation to Honduras on Thursday to attend the inauguration and hold migration talks with newly elected President Xiomara Castro, a socialist already politically weakened before taking office.

Ms Harris will discuss the “root causes” of migration to the US southern border with Ms Castro, the nation’s first female president, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

“She doesn’t want the people of Honduras to feel compelled to leave their country,” the official said of Ms. Castro. “We want to do what we can to support this new president.”

A similar trip by Ms Harris to the region last summer was heavily criticized for coming before she had bothered to visit the US border.

This time, Ms. Harris is meeting with a Central American leader whose ability to govern is in question even before she is sworn in. Last week, Honduran lawmakers broke out in a brawl in Ms. Castro’s Libre Party, rebelling against her election of Luis Redondo as President of Congress, choosing Jorge Calix instead. The move left Ms. Castro without an ally to control the Chamber.

“We are aware of the situation in Parliament and are following it closely,” the senior Biden administration official said. “We believe it is up to Hondurans to find a solution to the differences they encounter there, in a way that is consistent with their constitution.”

US officials express hope that Ms. Castro will keep her promises to reduce corruption in the country in order to prevent emigration to the US

Ms. Harris has focused on encouraging large companies to encourage private investment in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to improve conditions in those countries and stem migration.

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